AKAI 24-BIT/96KHZ SAMPLERS The new Z4 and Z8 24-bit/96kHz samplers from Akai ( combine the advantages of dedicated hardware with the interface


The new Z4 and Z8 24-bit/96kHz samplers from Akai ( combine the advantages of dedicated hardware with the interface power of ak.Sys PC/Mac control and Networking System software. Features include Q-Link™ knobs for real-time modulation control, Intelli-Sample™ audio-trigger sampling, 512MB SDRAM capacity, onboard 24-bit/96kHz 4-channel effects, 192 filters, 26 resonant filter types, up to three simultaneous filters per voice, and dual independent LFOs with internal/external modulation control. Also included are an internal 20GB IDE hard drive, balanced I/O, 24-bit/96kHz AD/DA conversion, built-in sample rate converter, and a USB host/slave connection.


Sennheiser's ( HD 280 Pro headphones offer exceptional isolation and feature an innovative fold-up design. Designed to deliver linear sound reproduction at high SPLs, the HD 280 Pro combines fidelity with practical design and comfort. The HD 280's form-fitting, circumaural earpieces and single-sided coiled cable give users maximum flexibility. All wearing parts are replaceable. Price: $199.


Now shipping, the Tascam ( DM-24 digital console features 24-bit converters, up to 96kHz sampling and 32-bit internal processing, along with dynamics processing and internal TC Works and Antares effects. Other features include full automation with 100mm touch-sensitive moving faders, 4-band parametric EQ, onboard machine control tools, and a circuit design that can compensate for fixed latencies within a digital studio. Multiple digital and analog interfaces and optional expansion modules ease connection to DAWs and digital recorders. Price: $2,999.


Now shipping, the DDX3216 from Behringer ( is a compact digital mixer featuring 32 full-feature channels, 16 buses, eight aux sends, 12 mic preamps, internal digital patchbay/routing, and static and dynamic automation of all console parameters, including its 100mm moving Alps faders. Powered by four SHARC DSPs, the DDX3216 also offers 4-band parametric EQ, compressor and gate on all 32 channels, along with four onboard digital effects processors, 24-bit AKM/Crystal converters, and two I/O card slots for TDIF, ADAT and AES/EBU interfacing. Retail is $1,999, including free editor software for Windows.


The Model 2020 High-Resolution Discrete Input Channel from George Massenburg Labs ( is a two-rackspace unit that combines a mic preamp with filter, EQ and dynamics capability. Manufactured by Manley Laboratories (in conjunction with GML), the 2020 is based on GML's 8300 preamp, 8200 parametric EQ and 8900 dynamics processor, providing flexible routing for its processing sections (including sidechain insertion) and includes polarity reverse and phantom power switches. The single-channel unit accepts mic or line-level signals, and features discrete transistor, balanced/symmetrical Class-A op amps for wide bandwidth, low noise and extended dynamic range.


The StudioPro® M1 and M2 from Peavey Electronics ( are studio condensers featuring a large, dual-diaphragm capsule. The M1 is a cardioid model, while the M2 has selectable omni, cardioid and figure-8 patterns. Both mics include a 10dB pad for handling up to 140dB SPL without distortion. A switchable highpass filter can be used to compensate for proximity effect and reduce unwanted low frequencies. The StudioPro M1 is $250; the M2 is $370. A shock-mount is optional.


The Microphone Preamplifier System from Gordon Instruments ( is a discrete, 2-channel FET design. Rather than controlling large amounts of fixed gain via feedback or attenuators, a true variable gain circuit inserts into the signal path only the amount of gain selected. An output load compensation circuit senses any change in load and readjusts the output stage for the lowest distortion. This “soft signal path” concept automatically optimizes for the selected gain and the output load, improving clarity, bandwidth and dynamic range. Price: $3,500.


Essentially a smaller version of its acclaimed HR824 studio monitors, the HR624 active studio monitors ($649/each) from Mackie Designs ( are slated to ship this month. The bi-amped (100 + 40 watts), magnetically shielded units combine a 6.7-inch woofer with a rear-firing passive radiator and the same waveguide/1-inch aluminum dome tweeter as the HR824s. The speakers feature THX™ pm3 certification, and can be used as a stereo pair, or as a complete 5.1/7.1 surround system, with or without Mackie's new HRS120 400-watt subwoofer ($1,499). The HR624 specs include a frequency response of 50-20k Hz, ±1.5 dB and a max SPL of 112 dB (1 m).


ATR Service Company ( debuts Aria Super Analog Electronics, an external add-on package for high-performance analog tape transports. Designed by David Hill of Crane Song, ATR's Aria record and playback electronics are compatible with most late model transports from Studer, Ampex, Otari and MCI/Sony. A programmable interface works with original remote controls and offers automatic switching of EQ curves when tape speed is changed. Additional features include 40-segment VU/peak hold meters, which include a high-res mode for precise alignment. Aria Electronics are available in either 2-channel or 8-channel formats (plus time code), and they are optimized for use with Flux Magnetics Mastering Series heads, also available from ATR Service Company as part of a complete retrofit package.


The ASP520 Bass Management Processor from Audient ( is designed to integrate a subwoofer into any surround monitoring system. Besides selecting the bass redirect source and destination, the unit features crossover point-phase compensation and two bands of parametric EQ for optimizing the system's LF performance. The ASP520 can be used alone or in conjunction with the ASP510 Surround Sound Controller to provide a complete surround monitoring management system.